Breast Cancer patients' use of coenzyme Q10
Jarman, Gina Lynn
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Dietary supplement use is common, particularly among cancer patients. Women with breast and gynecological cancers use dietary supplements at higher rates than individuals with other types of cancers. One particular dietary supplement, Coenzyme Q, has been advertised for use among breast cancer patients to increase quality of life, boost the immune system and improve prognosis. To date, no well-controlled, large, clinical trials have researched the results of Coenzyme Q use among breast cancer patients. Despite this fact, some breast cancer patients supplement their diets with Coenzyme Q. Stephen Sapp's Expanded Rational Expectations Intention (EREI) model expanded from Icek Ajzen and Martin Fishbein's Theory of Reasoned Action served as the theoretical model for this study. In the EREI model, the constructs in the EREI model of knowledge, beliefs, referent others, social acceptability, attitude and subjective norm theoretically predict intention. Study subjects were 160 non-metastatic breast cancer patients currently undergoing chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormonal therapy at Covenant Health System Joe Arrington Cancer Center. Subjects completed a survey with indicators measuring the constructs within the EREI model in order to determine factors that motivate breast cancer subjects whether to supplement with Coenzyme Q. Other questions within the survey assessed whom subjects trust for accurate or reliable dietary supplement information, disclosure with physicians about what dietary supplements they use, where they learn about supplements that they use, and what supplements subjects currently use. PLSPATH is a type of structural equation modeling technique that was used to analyze the data to determine whether the EREI model could predict the intentions of breast cancer subjects to supplement with Coenzyme Q. Results indicated that the EREI model predicted breast cancer subjects' intentions to supplement with Coenzyme Q. Beliefs had a significant effect on attitude, which in turn had a significant effect on intention. Referent others had a significant effect on subjective norm, which in turn had a significant effect on intention. Attitude was a stronger predictor of intention than was subjective norm. Social acceptability and knowledge were not related to intention. Results suggested that; Subjects trust healthcare professionals for dietary supplement information. The majority of subjects disclose dietary supplementation with their physicians. Subjects use a variety of dietary supplements. Caucasian women and women with higher education levels use more dietary supplements than non-Caucasian women and those with lower education levels. Coenzyme Q users use more dietary supplements than non-Coenzyme Q users.